The elusive lesbian market niche

The San Francisco Chronicle assigns a male (I assume), Wyatt Buchanan, to write an article on the missing lesbian marketplace, as least as compared to male homosexuals. Maybe it is just me, but I sense a whiff of regret that female homosexuals do not seem to separate themselves from the mainstream to the same extent as male homosexuals.

In Alameda County, where Oakland has more lesbian couples per capita than any other major city in the United States, two bookstores that catered to women and lesbians have shut their doors in the past few years. This spring, two lesbian magazines headquartered in San Francisco ceased publication; the final sale of their assets was announced last week. There are only two bars in the city that cater to lesbian clientele.

"In the 1970s and '80s, there were seven active women's bars in the city; that's what we used for socializing," said Maureen McEvoy, a board member of the Golden Gate Business Association, the Bay Area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender chamber of commerce.

"Ultimately what happened was we couldn't support them financially, and one by one they went out of business," said McEvoy. Speaking of her organization's 480 member businesses, she said, "A lot are certainly lesbian—owned, but they just can't afford to be that exclusive."

The catchword on the left is LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. As if these very divergent groups had anything substantitive in common. The article demonstrates the falsity of that demographic category. Rather like "Asian/Pacific Islander" in its insulting conflation of groups with little in common.

I also find it interesting that the male homosexual is implicitly taken as normative. One can get an earful on the subject of heteronormative sins if the wrong opinion is expressed in the wrong place. There is no huge poltical point I would make. Just take it as a snapshot of the state of "progressive" political thought.

Thomas Lifson   9 07 06

The San Francisco Chronicle assigns a male (I assume), Wyatt Buchanan, to write an article on the missing lesbian marketplace, as least as compared to male homosexuals. Maybe it is just me, but I sense a whiff of regret that female homosexuals do not seem to separate themselves from the mainstream to the same extent as male homosexuals.

In Alameda County, where Oakland has more lesbian couples per capita than any other major city in the United States, two bookstores that catered to women and lesbians have shut their doors in the past few years. This spring, two lesbian magazines headquartered in San Francisco ceased publication; the final sale of their assets was announced last week. There are only two bars in the city that cater to lesbian clientele.

"In the 1970s and '80s, there were seven active women's bars in the city; that's what we used for socializing," said Maureen McEvoy, a board member of the Golden Gate Business Association, the Bay Area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender chamber of commerce.

"Ultimately what happened was we couldn't support them financially, and one by one they went out of business," said McEvoy. Speaking of her organization's 480 member businesses, she said, "A lot are certainly lesbian—owned, but they just can't afford to be that exclusive."

The catchword on the left is LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. As if these very divergent groups had anything substantitive in common. The article demonstrates the falsity of that demographic category. Rather like "Asian/Pacific Islander" in its insulting conflation of groups with little in common.

I also find it interesting that the male homosexual is implicitly taken as normative. One can get an earful on the subject of heteronormative sins if the wrong opinion is expressed in the wrong place. There is no huge poltical point I would make. Just take it as a snapshot of the state of "progressive" political thought.

Thomas Lifson   9 07 06